Anton Sonnenberg

Topic: White rot fungi: from food to biobased economy


Anton Sonnenberg has been involved in mushroom research from 1980. He studied Biology at the University of Groningen where he did his PhD in Joseph Wessels group in 1984 on the biosynthesis and assembly of fungal cell walls. In 1984 he moved to the former Mushroom Experimental Station in Horst (Netherlands) where he started research on a wide range of subjects related to edible mushrooms. He succeeded dr Gerda Fritsche in 1992 as head of the group on genetics and breeding. Next to these subjects, he has also been involved in research on fungal viruses. In 2000, the research group merged with Wageningen University and Research and the group moved physically in 2007 to Wageningen and is now part of the department of Plant Breeding. Anton Sonnenberg has been and is still involved in strategic research on breeding directed to enhance te knowledge on breeding of edible mushrooms. He is also involved in activities directed to enhance the protection of new mushroom varieties. The last 6 years, he is also involved in research to use white rot fungi to upgrade lignocellulose waste into animal feed, bioenergy or raw materials for bioplastics. He managed a large number of research projects funded by government and/or private industry. He has also been involved in a number of EU funded project. Next to the more fundamental/strategic research programs, he was involved in a number of applied research projects directed to optimize cultivation of button mushrooms. He has published as first author or co-author 164 publications (among which are 40 in refereed scientific journals, 37 in professional journals and 45 research reports).